Introduction: some issues in academic development
This chapter explores what characterises approaches to quality assurance and quality enhancement by external quality agencies, looking at definitions and at practices associated with each. It presents approaches to quality and the external quality assurance of learning and teaching in university sector institutions. The approach to quality in Scotland was designed as an integrated quality enhancement framework (QEF). Academic developers can work with academic staff to stress the academic relevance of quality-related activity. Enhancement-based approaches will have self-evaluation at their core; critical, honest, and as the starting point for a dialogue. Academic developers can find themselves in an uncomfortable space between the Mechanistic and the developmental approaches to quality. The challenges of establishing an effective internal quality culture and successfully countering the forces of resistance and cynicism remain. The challenge for academic developers changes as quality processes move away from the local disciplinary context and towards institutional, strategic, and external considerations.